Story and photos by Devon Bristol Shaw
Music for me is based on how it makes me feel in the moment I’m present to it. Sure, I have a very specific preference as far as musical tastes are concerned (for the most part), but after last weekend, last night’s LVL UP and Cloud Nothings show at Webster Hall, is exactly what I needed. What we ALL needed. I needed to get lost in the moment, lost in the feeling of serenity (serenity now!). It’s easy to feel bitter about current affairs but it’s even easier to let loose and feel the music.
I started off the night shooting from the balcony looming over a packed crowd of eager concert goers. How many of them were experiencing the same sentiments as myself? How many of them needed to let loose? Looking towards the pit jammed with reckless rambunctious dudes and the occasional fearless lady, it seemed like the answer to my question was that I was not alone. After already shooting four shows this week, this was by far the biggest show I had been present to as both bands were clearly crowd favorites. This was apparent from the palpable energy that both the bands and audience alike seemed to be emanating.
I couldn’t help but smile to myself when LVL UP’s Mike Caridi mentioned that the band had to relearn their old songs for the current tour–a possibly intimate secret willfully shared with an all too knowing crowd. It created a cat’s cradle-like thread that connected and united us all. The transition from LVL UP to Cloud Nothings was seamless. The names for each bands’ new albums“Return to Love” and “Life Without Sound” seemingly poetic.
There appeared to be a slight tension before Cloud Nothings approached the stage, a hopeful anticipation of sorts but once the music started again a sigh of relief and eagerness could be felt all around. Their melodic punk riffs and noisy guitars reverberated over the amplifiers and monitors–the loudness of the music could not have been better, could not have felt better. In the words of the band’s most popular song, “we needed time to stop moving, we needed time to stay useless,” everything for a moment felt right.
Cloud Nothings is truly a “Modern Act,” in which lead singer, Dylan Baldi believes that his work has been about finding his place in the world which is something I believe we all seemingly aspire to achieve.
When the show ended, there was a calmness that seemed to fade away, an unwillingness to leave. Must we return to the real world? Must we go back to a state of unknown? Well, at least we can listen to both bands’ new albums and revisit the feelings of the night. The moments in which we experienced together, the nostalgia, the hopefulness in which the music inspires within us. In order to continue existing, in order to continue being a part of me…